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Wonderfully Made Dance
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Model Maeve

Hello far away family & friends! I know I've long been abset from the blog & our Maevey updates...in fact we're missing an entire Niall update! I promise them to come. For now though I thought I'd reach out and ask for our readers to take a moment and vote for Maeve in the DFW Magazine Child Model contest! You are allowed three votes a day, through October 27th! Finalists will be invited to a walk and one on one with the Magazine and the Kim Dawson agency in Dallas.



Busy Days

Since you are almost all family, or at least my facebook friends, you should know by now that baby O2 is boy! Niall Kenneth will be joining our family in early July! 

Buying a hat for Niall.

The bump and I go shopping.
 Since people know by now we like less traditional (by American standards) names, see: Maeve, we opted not to keep his name a secret this time. When we were still in college we did a family name history project and both the Owens line, and O'Connell line can be traced to origin to Niall NoígíallachHe is said to have united Ireland through his conquering, and his name means "champion". A shared ancient ancestor with such a unique back story stuck with us, and we decided our first son would share his name. Niall's middle name is a namesake for my pappy, whom I lost this October. We were very close, and his death was very hard. Kenneth means "handsome", and will be a constant reminder of my pappy lingering on in our family. Watching over us. 

The other excitement to strike us this last week was our horrendous case of the stomach flu. It was brutal, and ended up taking us to urgent care when Maeve had thrown up nine times in eight hours, and couldn't even keep down 3t of liquid! They ended up giving her some anti-vomit meds they give cancer patients so they could prevent dehydration. One dose kept her from throwing up for eight hours. They dosed her, had us wait fifteen minutes, and then tested its effectiveness by giving her a yummy popsicle. Success! We were able to keep liquids down with much for consistency, though she was still sick Saturday to Monday. Adam was able to get away, but I was d-y-i-n-g Monday through Thursday. 
WASH YOUR HANDS friends! This bug is no joke!!! 

Before her meds with all her loves. Pitiful little girl.

She perked up quite a bit with promises of a treat though!


Valentine's Celebrations

Valentine's Day in my house growing up centered around family. In specific, my baby brother Ryan. Valentine's Day is Ryan's birthday. With my parent's anniversary a week later, we would often do a family birthday celebration on Valentine's Day, accompanied with cards and chocolates from my parents. They would celebrate the holiday days later, or combine it with their around the corner anniversary.
Happy Birthday Ry!
Our first Valentine's Day as a couple was spent a part at different schools, the next year I was sick, and the following three years in college I was working at a restaurant. (Read: no way you're going to get the night off.) Follow that with morning sick pregnancy, small baby, small toddler, pregnancy again---the holiday has not had much time to build itself into one with tradition. This year we aimed for a yummy family dinner with cards and flowers and a surprise box of tiny chocolates for Maevey-girl from her daddy. She was so stunned by a gift and a card just for her, alongside her mommy that she talked about it the rest of the night and most of this morning. 

Enjoying her spoils from Daddy, in a leotard of course. 


Pregnant Ballerina Selfies

Hello blogerverse! It's been awhile. Admittedly, with the hard year my family had I just haven't felt like writing. I even quite writing in my private journal--too much pain to keep jotting down. But time passes, and God gives us gifts to celebrate, and to ease the pain of tremendous loss. Most of you (since basically anyone reading this is family) know that we are expecting baby O2 early this July! I am desperate--DESPERATE to know who this person is! Thankfully, our gender reveal sonogram is next Tuesday; I'm ready for that knowledge at the very least. I'm still teaching ballet three days a week, for about 12hrs total. I plan to teach until May and then take this summer off; usually I teach all the way through but I have a hard time envisioning my thirty-something-week self doing jetes and fondus. Already marked as the "not a first child" I have hardly taken any belly pictures this time around, save a few stolen moments in a mirror I've secretly texted my curious frousin. I did snap this little gem last week, at about 18wks. 

Pregnant Ballerina 
 I am equal parts horrified by my very pregnant, very early self, and amused by how I look pregnant, dressed for ballet. Meanwhile, Maevers has continued to obsess over ballet and all things ballerina. It doesn't hurt that my parents got her two amazing, huge tutus for Christmas this year. And if you're wondering, while we've made the dance items available, and she has taken class from me---this is mostly her doing. Ask anyone who has been at our house long, it's Miss Maeve who runs to her dress up box to dig out her ballet slippers, leotaa'd, and skirt, immediately request appropriate ballet music so she might dazzle you on the dining room rug. Easily happens five times a day. A friend who is mother to all boys stayed the night Sunday and marvelled as we negotiated appropriate sleepwear for our girl. Compromise? While you cannot sleep in a tutu, I will allow a ballet skirt over reasonable pjs. All parties satisfied. 

God help us when she hits sixteen.

Our tiny ballerina in training. 


Poor, Sad Dutchie

Maeve's fur sister, and very favorite dog, Dutchess gets a lot of attention these days. She gets dressed up with necklaces and crowns, pulled up to play ring around the rosie, read to, you name it. The other day Maeve kept bringing out tissue and consoling Dutchess; she insisted the dog was crying.


Snippets and Phrases and Moments

I keep thinking in snippets and phrases this weekend. Saturday, we attended the funeral of a beautiful woman who was the sister of a dear friend of ours. Married and only a few months older than me, she recently lost a very surprising and very fast battle with Melanoma and slipped into the night. She was the kind of woman I hoped to make a true friend. A big, gummy smile, soft eyes with a glean and stories and plans for adventure. Her service was hard. Hard because she was only 27. Hard because she was married to her young love. Hard because she was someone's daughter and sister and wife and hadn't yet the chance to be someone's mother. Hard because death is painful, and confusing and maddening. Hard because I miss my Nana and she too had a beautiful, warm smile she wore all the time. 

At the end of Christina's service one of the pastors gave a prayer of Thanksgiving in closing. He spoke of giving thanks for the moments we were given by her: road trips. the perfect cup of coffee, late night conversations, her first word, first step, first days of school and every Christmas morning. Every moment spent with Jacob...He went on, but there I'm stuck; the words playing like an audio loop. I spent last night re-watching Nana's memorial service and meditating on the words that have stuck with me there too this last month. Like how we felt she was "love personified." What am I? What story am I telling with the way I live my life? Am I counting the moments? Am I ever thankful? Thankful for Maeve's exhausting requests to nap with me because she won't always want to snuggle? Thankful for even the most uneventful moments with Adam, even if it's just chatter about our day during a bath? Thankful for the opportunity to pass on my passion to those in my community? Thankful for family and friends and family who are friends and friends who are practically family? Am I really thankful for my moments? Are you? Are you love personafied, grateful for the moments your "dear friend" Jesus has shared with you? 


Nana's Eulogy (Kaitlin's)

 My Nana was love.  

 The last time I saw Nana, was during our surprise visit for Mother’s Day. There was new life in her when she met and held Maeve. They were on the floor rolling balls & playing paddy cake, tasting new fruits and listening to the wind chimes. One of our last mornings, she snuck in and took our early bird out of the room. When I finally woke up I could hear her voice, carrying from outside. She was talking to Maeve: pointing out different sounds, singing songs and showing her the soft peals of the wind chimes. My heart breaks that my daughter won’t grow with memories of the woman who helped form her mother. That she’ll never remember the way Nana’s laugh was deep and strong, the particular way she’d say “Oooh” when she was thinking, her soft, warm smell, how surprisingly strong her hugs were, and how intensely she loved. But I know pieces of my beautiful grandmother are scattered in us. In my mother, my uncles, my brother and my cousins. And pieces are hidden there in Maeve too.

 So when I’m missing her terribly, instead of weeping for my loss: I’ll try to make a perfect batch of cream cheese cookies and never even taste the batter, I’ll be the keeper of hidden treasures, pulling out secret prizes for those I love. I’ll try and grow the perfect jungle garden, something to amaze children in their world of make believe.  I’ll make sure I’m really listening to those I love and I’ll make sure everyone I meet feels loved by me. I’ll look at my husband with adoration and devotion and make sure Maeve knows that it’s all because a beautiful woman with salt & pepper hair taught me too.

Love, Kaitlin